Ed Note: IT’S SO DAMN WARM OUTSIDE. USE YOUR BIKESHARE YEARLY MEMBERSHIP, YOUR FEET, WHATEVER, AND GET TO DRINKING (OUTDOORS) NOW. Thanks.
We love you and we know you love drinking outdoors. This is why, every SPRING/SUMMER season, we publish a handy outdoor drinking (and eating) guide. A lot of last year’s selections are still very much applicable and partially used here, but we’ll focus on places we’re especially pumped for this season. Still, check it out:
IMPORTANT LINKS TO PERUSE BEFORE DIGGING IN:
- Our SPRING/SUMMER FOOD GUIDE has everything you need for eating and drinking your way through warm weather including recipes, upcoming restaurants and bars, events, great cocktails to try, cooking tips from some of your favorite chefs and MORE, MORE, MORE.
- Check out our FOOD SECTION for the latest new restaurants, food news, drink diaries, weekly cocktail columns and how-tos with the pros and then some.
Categories we’re about to cover below are:
- New Kids On The Block
- Great Happy Hours
- FOOD (because it tastes good)
- Date/Intimate Spots
- Lots of Action/People Watching
- Forever Favorites
So, lets dig in (all photos: Stephanie Breijo, Jeff Martin, Shauna Alexander, Dakota Fine, Franz Mahr, Oliver Bendorf, Britt Elyse Nelson, Cesar Olivares, Rachel Eisley, Kimberly Cadena, Ben Droz & Steve Jeter for BYT -unless otherwise noted)
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK:
- Agua 301 – Capitol Riverfront has instant cred when it comes to the outdoor drinking game this year; Agua 301’s massive waterside patio has not only spectacular views but also its own churro cart and (occasionally boozy) popsicles when the weather gets hotter. From our full first look piece: “Stephen Briggs, who also owns Zest Bistro, knew the Riverfront was the perfect spot for his new concept. ‘When you have an opportunity to be on the water, it’s ideal,’ he said. ‘When we’re next to the water we like to drink a margarita.'” We couldn’t agree more.
- Alba Osteria – When it comes to fun and flavorful cocktails with a hint of Italian flare, we suggest Alba Osteria. When it comes to drinking said cocktails, we recommend visiting Alba Osteria’s 63-seat patio. The gorgeous outdoor tables wrap around a restaurant housing an impressive and authentic Piedmont menu, not to mention a stellar brick oven for pizza so go on and indulge this season. Need a better peek at the restaurant? We’ve got you covered.
- Ambar – Get some INSANE house infused vodka and delicious Balkan tapas while you’re expertly people-watching at Richard Sandoval’s Eastern Market spot right on 8th Street. The best part? You’ve got outdoor drinking options. Choose between the sidewalk patio (which only seats 10 so get there fast) or the rooftop patio. Oh, and did we mention there’s happy hour? $4 drinks, $4 small plates. All the best things. Check out more of Ambar here…
- Barcelona – One of 14th Street’s shining new outdoor patio watering holes is everything you want and need and more–Barcelona’s gorgeous front patio feels part garden, part restaurant, part private home. Here you’ll find full table seating, reclaimed wood, flowers, an extensive wine menu, an outdoor fireplace for those chilly nights and even some blankets to go along with it. SOLD. Take a bigger, better look here.
- The Carolina Kitchen – For a hint of southern hospitality this outdoor drinking season, head to The Carolina Kitchen where you’ll sip on mixologist JP Caceres’s creations on a 28-seat outdoor patio.This spring you’ll find concoctions like the Punch of the Day (with Absolut Wild Tea, fresh lemon, strawberry syrup, maraschino liqueur and Prosseco) and the Sangria, made from a combination of merlot, lemon syrup, vodka, orange juice, strawberry syrup, apples and seasonal fruits. Get a better glimpse here.
- City Tap House – If you’re looking for a patio with an excellent beer menu, City Tap House is your guy. Its roster of 60 local, national and international beers rotates frequently and seats 40 outdoors. The Chinatown/Penn Quarter spot’s also been known to hold the occasional beer-menu collaboration (most recently a DC Brau brunch series) so keep an eye out for great events posted on their web site. Take a peek inside over here.
- Dacha Beer Garden – We’re absolutely sold on this fun and flirty beer garden at the corner of 7th Street NW and Q. A giant mural of Elizabeth Taylor will look (but not judge) as you order a boot of beer (or two) from a great selection of German beer and, if you’re lucky enough to get there when the grill is out, maybe even a brat or some pretzels with cheese. Check out more photos right over thissaway…
- Duke’s Grocery – Bringing the “Taste of East London to DC,” this is the 17thSstreet gem that you MAYBE haven’t been to yet. D.C. needs more casual, delicious, centrally located restaurants like this.
- El Rey – We did a First Look & Taste Test for this brand spankin’ new 14th street restaurant, which you can read about here. Go enjoy tacos and margaritas in the bar patio–flanked by shipping containers–which has a retractable roof they open for the spring and summer.
- Fiola Mare – Those who know D.C. dining know Fabio Trabocchi doesn’t mess around, so for most it should come as no surprise that his newest addition to the Fiola family is, as they say, practically perfect in every way. Fiola Mare offers exquisite cuisine and cocktails, all enjoyable on a glassed-in patio on the Georgetown Waterfront (with its walls of windows open in perfect weather) and, soon enough, directly on the boardwalk with waterside patio seating. From our review: “The cocktail menu and selection is almost overwhelming in its comprehensiveness, and Fiola Mare’s wine menu features some of Chef Trabocchi’s favorites as well as anything you could ever want to complement his outstanding cuisine.” Check out our full piece over here and brace yourself for outdoor drinking bliss.
- Ghibellina – Plop yourself into this prime location at the corner of 14th and Q and people-watch while eating those delicious pizzas and drinking those delicious Italian cocktails that seem custom made for the warm months. Also, a killer happy hour for those lucky enough to snag a seat in the window bar area, seven days a week.
- Iron Gate – The freshly reopened Iron Gate is, in essence, a fairytale, and where we’d like to do all our outdoor drinking when we’re feeling whimsical or even plain old romantic. In day or night this patio is stunning with grape vines draping over tables and glass lanterns perching on steps. Since it’s been commandeered by Neighborhood Restaurant Group, you know you’ll enjoy cocktails and punches from D.C. mainstay Jeff Faile and a comprehensive wine program curated by NRG’s Brent Kroll. More photos and info right this way…
- Little Miss Whiskey’s – An oldie but a goodie, this H Street staple just opened a second level to its back patio. How could this get even better? Both levels allow use of the bar’s large propane grill for the ultimate spring/summer experience. (Just remember to order The Awesomeness, LMW’s vodka iced tea slushie.)
- Lupo Verde – Looking for a new 14th Street haunt? Lupo Verde’s 40-seat gated outdoor patio should do just the trick while you’re nibbling on Burrata and sipping on the A’ Malademmina Cocktail, a mix of mezcal, Don Ciccio & Figli Prickly Pear, aperol and a splash of grapefruit juice. Hellooooo, warm weather. Check out our first look here.
- Osteria Morini – Capitol Riverfront’s working all sorts of magic this spring/summer and much of it is thanks to Osteria Morini and its outdoor seating with picturesque views, to boot. The only thing that could rival the view? THE FOOD.
- Red Light – 14th Street’s new dessert and cocktail bar should be a perfect spot for outdoor drinking needs this spring and summer; with inventive and expertly executed drinks from The Wilder Brothers, you’ll be sure to find something to your liking on their well-designed patio. From our first look: “Come warmer weather you’ll find boozy Sno Cone concoctions on the 45-seat patio and a few other surprises along the way, making it a perfect date spot to grab a drink before or after dinner, or a bite of something sweet any time of the night.” Check out the full piece here.
- Republic – Head on up to Chef Jeff Black’s new Takoma Park spot for A++ patio wining and dining, late night menu, and even a live show. We brought you behind the scenes for Republic’s flaming Ring of Fire cocktail–see it for yourself and order some oysters while you’re at it. You can thank us later.
- Roofers Union – What was once Adam’s Morgan’s The Reef is now Roofers Union, a restaurant and bar committed to the finer things in life, namely gourmet sausages and award-winning punches. It’s helmed by Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley, so fans of Ripple know exactly how delicious this cuisine really is. For those who don’t, just trust us on this one. The rooftop bar has one of the best views of 18th Street you’ll find in the city, plus a rotating punch list and full cocktail menu. Get a better look here.
- Satellite Room – This U Street bar’s outdoor bar area offers 9:30 Club concert-goers a brief respite from the chaos that is the dance floor on busy nights. Belly up to Satellite’s outdoor bar and grab yourself one of their 10 alcoholic milkshakes and maybe even venture inside for a round of pinball. Still not sold? Read all about it in our full story.
- Table – Head straight through Frederik De Pue’s Shaw spot, Table, and up to the back patio for one of your new favorite spring/summer spots. From our full review: “A 35-seat, two level patio may be familiar to a certain portion of BYT readership as the deck once occupied by SPACE, the bar whole place TABLE now occupies. Still, don’t expect anything similar to that late night scene; the TABLE patio is airy and spacious, with white wood and exposed brick walls and light furniture, and you enjoy the full menu from the restaurant or just a couple of glasses of wine and a cheese and charcuterie board (there are no reservations you can make specifically for the space, but guests with reservations get the first pick of whether they’d like to sit there).”
- Teddy & The Bully Bar – Celebrate patriotism and freedom with Teddy Roosevelt (or at least in the spirit of) at Teddy and the Bully Bar’s lovely patio. From our review: “Helmed by executive chef Michael Hartzer, the experience is exactly how Teddy would have wanted a meal – traditional, strong cocktails; outdoorsmen-ready meats like wild game on the menu; a classic interior design.” Full first look/gorgeous cocktailporn here.
- Toro Toro – Richard Sandoval’s new Pan Latin steakhouse not only serves up tangy and impressive food; it’s also a purveyor of handcrafted cocktails, which you can enjoy on a 40-seat outdoor patio. The drinks–made with premium Latin spirits–sounds just perfect for warm weather, like the Raspberry Collins with Bombay gin, fresh lime juice, fresh raspberry simple syrup, and Champagne, or the Tinta Roja made with red wine, brandy, Licor 43, fresh apple, fresh mango and orange liqueur.
- Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Maketto – BYT’s What’s In Your Fridge Alum Erik Bruner-Yang and DURKL’s Will Sharp (Whose “Finer Things In Life With…” was one of BYT’s first features) have been working on this restaurant-retail mixed use for a while now, and it looks like the opening is very near. Expect a menu inspired by Bruner-Yang’s travels to Cambodia and Taiwan and if their Hanoi house pop-up or his recent COCHON 555 victory lap-we’re all in for a treat, as well as some outdoor seating on H Street.
- Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Impala DC – Speaking of H Street, one of the District’s best tacos spots has yet to open its large outdoor patio (not to mention full restaurant), but you can still find its tacos on weekends and count down the undisclosed number of days until you’re sitting in the sun sipping margaritas and snacking on elote and Chile braised pork belly tacos.
GREAT HAPPY HOURS:
- El Centro D.F. – What goes better than margaritas and guacamole on a hot summer day? Absolutely nothing, we tell you. Enjoy some of the city’s best guac, tequila and tacos in the sunshine. Featuring a taqueria in the front with a taco and burrito ordering station and a sit down dining area (“tequileria”) in the back and downstairs, El Centro D.F. is here to serve up all your Mexican inspired cravings, delivered right to your patio table. Happy hour is daily 5-7pm, $4 Margaritas, rocks & frozen, Sangrias Mexican Beers, Red & White Wine. 5-9pm, $6 Guacamole, Tacos & more
- Biergarten Haus – Venture down H Street NE and step into one of the city’s most fun and bizarrely authentic outdoor drinking experiences available–Biergarten Haus is home to multiple delicious draft beers, be it Pilsner, Hefe-Weizen, or Lager. Happy hour is Monday-Friday, 4-7pm, $5 Franziskaner Hefe-Weizen, Paulaner Pils, Becks Maibock, $5 House Wine (White, Red), plus $5 Loaded Fries, Hamburger Sliders, Garden Currywurst.
- RED DERBY – Get a prime seat on the rooftop with $1 Natty Bohs and other classy specials during happy hour.
- LARRY’S LOUNGE – $3 rails, $3.50 draft special, $4.50 Absolut drinks. And the wine is cheap, too.Basically living the dream.
- BOURBON – 6:00-7:30pm, $3 drafts; specials on selected bourbons; cocktail specials
- Del Campo – Read our full report on Victor Albisu’s eatery here. Del Campo not only houses a 40-seat patio, but an entire grilled cocktail selection (boozy lemonades with grilled pineapple syrups galore) AND one of the best happy hour menus in town. All specialty cocktails, beer and house punches are $5 and the food is incredible with options like Pan Con Chicharon Sliders with fried yuca ($5), Lamb and Spring Pea Empanadas with mint chimichurri ($5) and Scallop Sushi with smoked salmon roe, radish and soy butter ($7).
- Pearl Dive – Monday-Friday 4-7pm, the little indoor-outdoor bar/patio is a veritable raw bar oasis. Food and drink specials occur on a rotating basis. But also: Oyster Mania Mondays in both the bar and dining room starting at 4pm to close. All of Pearl Dive’s signature hot oyster appetizers are $6.00. Raw bar oysters on the half shell are 1/2 price.
- Veranda – Never packed, always there, which is crazy (the non-packness) since the happy hour specials are VERY solid. Mondays features $4 sliders, Tuesdays are the 1/2-priced bottles of wine, Wednesday brings $4 Sangrias, Thursdays are$4 mojitos, Fridays you’ll find $5 martinis and Saturdays you can get yourself some 1/2-off mussels.
- J & G Steakhouse -The J&G Steakhouse has a fabulous happy hour with $5.15 specialty cocktails such as the Cherry Yuzu Rickey and the Ginger Margarita. DONE!
- Chez Billy – This Petworth spot sports an outdoor bar whose wooden bar benches are inviting and happy hour deal is solid: $5 pints of Stella Artois, $5 glasses of wine and a cocktail of bartender’s choice until 7:30 p.m. Washington Post has more of the said scoop.
- Nellie’s Nellie’s is a whirlpool for intersecting currents of the city, which also happens to have a badass Beat the Clock Happy Hour: beer and cocktails 5-6 pm $1, 6-7 pm $2, and 7-8pm $3. On the rooftop you can see all the way to the National Shrine, there’s a big screen projector that is usually playing something embarrassing, and their bartenders all call you “babe.” The food is quite bomb, and if you get there at dusk, there is sometimes a man at the corner of 9th and U, in front of an office building lobby, shadow boxing his reflection in the glass door.
- Lincoln – Lincoln’s prime downtown location makes for excellent people-watching, while its focus on small plates makes for the perfect bite to share with friends while you lounge outdoors sipping a glass of wine and taking in the scenery (read: characters). The happy hour specials are solid, and the hours are long (4-7pm every day). Expect $3 PBRs, $5 DC Braus, $5 Lincoln Spirits, and a $39 Emancipation punch which serves 8.
- DC Reynolds has a great patio bar, and the happy hour deal is pretty amazing: 5-9pm, it’s a BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE situation and a perfect start to a swell outdoor drinking season.
- Cava Mezze Restaurant – This Eastern Market spot offers not only an outdoor patio but a rooftop, as well. It makes for great peoplewatching and an especially great spot to enjoy their Mediterranean cuisine outdoors. (Trust us, always order the pork belly.)
- Et Voila! – A true neighborhood gathering place in D.C.’s Palisades neighborhood, Et Voila’s charming six-seat patio offers a wonderful outdoor dining experience under the sun and stars. This popular Belgian bistro serves authentic Belgian fare with French influence in a charismatic atmosphere. A great place to enjoy a fresh pot of mussels and refreshing small-batch Belgian beer, Et Voila’s patio is a favorite of neighborhood locals and foodies alike looking to dine at this hidden gem.
- Blue Duck Tavern – We will just point you towards this patio food porn post because these photos TRULY DO speak more than a 100,000,000,000 words.
- Mintwood Place – DELICIOUS. Show up early and snag an al fresco brunch spot on a weekend and never leave.
- Art and Soul -The restaurant just got a revamp (read the full story on that here), but fingers crossed the crab boils of last summer make a return. BONUS: the Liaison Hotel’s pool is upstairs.
- Boqueria – A perfect Dupont spot for outdoor small plates and sangria. The small plates trend has been reigning supreme in our city for as far as our food team can remember but the newest addition to this young professional outing staple is refreshingly back-to-basics and focuses on good, simple food and drink done well in a setting where everyone can feel comfortable.
- Poste – Poste Brasserie, tucked inside–and sort of behind–the expansive Hotel Monaco, has long been a BYT favorite; we love their roasts, the extensive menu (especially the seafood), and the fact that it always seemed to maintain a certain non-hotel-like integrity and identity of its own. But their biggest upside? The gorgeous, spacious patio in the summer is a terrific date spot, place to sit and read or catch up with friends be it at a gardenside table or on their couch-like outdoor seating.
- Farmers Fishers Bakers – where you should eat ALL OF THIS.
- Fiola –We here at BYT are just over-the-moon in love with this restaurant, and it’s clear to see why; it’s also clear why they routinely get voted as one of the top dining spots in the city. Fabio Trabocchi’s modern upscale Italian cuisine is divine, using the freshest of ingredients with an impressive cocktail and wine list to boot. Luckily for us, they just doubled their gorgeous patio’s seating capacity (look at those flowers!!), making room for 70 prime outdoor wining and dining spots.
- Proof – Proof also has a great patio and the forever delicious menu by chef Haidar Karoum. BONUS: every summer guests can enjoy a War of the Roses, where the restaurant offers a selection of their bar’s roses on the patio and lounge.
- Boveda/ Caucus Room – If ever you weren’t sure of the Latin speakeasy style eatery and its killer menu, let us reassure you. You’ll find great meals while you spend your afternoons and evenings outdoors surrounded by an herb garden and a serene fountain. How could it get better? the menu extends for all three meals AND cocktail hour. Working in West End suddenly got all sorts of better.
- Room 11 – That little patch of land that triples Room 11′s capacity in warmer months is both a godsend and a perfectly intimate, neighborhood hang out. Their cocktails are masterful or, in you’re in the mood for coffee with your sunshine, Room 11 serves via individual french press–a fresh, personal batch for your table’s enjoyment. (And have you tried their brunch? Might we suggest the shrimp and grits?)
- GIBSON –Gibson has a perfect tiki patio where you’ll find a separate summer cocktail menu for the back and a bunch of fun food and drink events during the outdoor season. Nothing not to like.
- Capella Hotel– Check out our full report on the Grill Room & Rye Bar at Capella Hotel here. But, to quote: “Featuring a picturesque canal-front patio, creative menus and a well-designed interior, The Grill Room and The Rye Bar are helmed by Swedish Chef Jakob Esko, specializing in the preparation of hand-cut, bone-in, artisanal meats, bracingly fresh seafood and memorable tableside preparations. From plate to glass and ambiance to service, the experience at The Grill Room and The Rye Bar appeals to all senses.”
- Quill –Perfect for spring and summer, Quill has an interior design and outdoor terrace steeped in Jeffersonian inspiration lending a historical bent to its cigars and cognacs. Enjoy house-made mixers and herbal-infused alcohols as well as a dynamic wine list in the open air.
- Tabard Inn– The back patio is really quite charming (that parachute!) and the staff is knowledgeable and non intrusive. From the back patio you can hear the soft occasional din of live jazz from inside the Inn’s restaurant without feeling too overwhelmed by it. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing drink with friends, a glass of wine and a book by yourself, or a bite to eat (again, brunch). (photo courtesy of Tabard Inn)
LOTS OF ACTION/PEOPLE WATCHING:
- BEACON HOTEL Rooftop – Beacon is traditionally a super popular event space. Art Soiree started hosting their Sunset performance series there and for good reason–it is LOVELY. (photo: Rachel Eisley)
- Brixton – When Brixton opened, it was exactly the kind of packed madness you’d expect. Now, they have a solid stream of live and DJ music up there, a chiller but still busy crowd and brunch on weekends. PRO TIP: with a 9:30 club stamp, it is ALWAYS happy hour up there.
- Marvin– Marvin will NEVER BE NOT PACKED. The sooner you realize that/embrace it, the sooner you’ll be ok. Pro tip: check out their Sunday daytime Sun Tea Parties.
- The Graham Hotel’s OBSERVATORY– Georgetown’s first rooftop bar–check out our full report on it here–is always, always packed but with a view like that, how can you be surprised? Ask about the $500 cocktail.
- Bourbon Steak – An ideal patio for lounging the summer away, Bourbon Steak’s outdoor seating is the perfect for bourbon, cigars and the restaurant’s signature fine cuisine. On chillier nights, fire pits can lend a glow to your evening plans. The all-brick patio and the sette in the far right-hand corner provide a perfect place to catch the afternoon sun, while cooling off with a flute of something tantalizingly crisp and bubbly. Come nightfall, you can catch us still seated there or perhaps at one of the other lounge seats with one of those fab, glass-like firepits in front of us, cocktail in-hand. (photo, courtesy of the restaurant)
- Cantina Marina – Say hello to a perfect D.C. waterfront bar.
- Donovan House – Great views, beautiful people, plus a delectable spring menu from Zentan make for a scene-y vibe that may seem intimidating to some but we suggest you don’t worry yourself too much about it and just lounge away (photo courtesy of the hotel).
- Hotel Helix – Come for the drinks and the parties, stay for the Helix Burger Bar. Or is it the other way around? Either way, we’re for it.
- Wonderland – save the date for Sunday, May 4th and the annual Wonderland Sundress Festival, which kicks off a packed season on their front patio.
- Jack Rose – As you might have noticed, we here at BYT are a little obsessed with Jack Rose since it opened. Whether it’s their delicious men, their enormous selection of whiskey, or their constant stream of fun events and promotions (ESPECIALLY beer wise), we’re all about it. So of course we love the idea of enjoying any one (or two, or three) of these things on their spacious patio, enjoying the faint mesquite smell of their barbeque sandwiches occasionally drifting through the air.
- Vinoteca’s Outdoor Plaza Bar – Vinoteca has been around for a while and their front patio has been a long time go-to, but they’ve stepped up their game with a Spanish/Tuscan/General Adorableness-inspired Plaza Bar. Click here for a full report and insane photos of their springtime menu and more, all right off of the chaos of U Street, including hot dogs (and veggie dogs) with bubbly pairings, rounds of bocce, and some serious relaxation. The orderly line starts here.
- Matchbox on 14th – Long days and nights in beautiful weather (with delicious food) right at the corner of 14th and T? Stop by for some of the best people-watching in the city, not to mention pizza.
- Garden District – Everyone’s been to Standard on 14th and S NW, at least once by now right? The thing we love most about Standard is not the barbecue or the beer (though of course those don’t hurt); it’s the fried pickles. These things are heavenly. Instead of doing pickle chips like we’re used to, Standard does the whole spear in a batter that’s not too heavy, and not too light. This fried spear of Americana is a warm invitation to summer, and even if you don’t like it, at least you’ll be in the perfect place to eat it.
- Café Saint-Ex – A neighborhood mainstay on D.C.’s popular 14th Street, Café Saint-Ex’s always-packed patio is often full of hungry brunch-goers, leisurely lunchers and those merely looking for a delicious meal under the sun. Drawing a diverse mix of neighborhood locals and visitors alike, Saint-Ex’s 54-seat umbrella-decorated terrace offers an expansive corner location right on trendy 14th Street. The pet-friendly patio also invites guests to bring their pups to enjoy the gorgeous weather as well. Diners can enjoy seasonal fare like their popular Roasted Beet Salad with watercress, feta and grapefruit two ways, or keep cool with their signature Poptails, icy booze-infused cocktail popsicles.
- DODGE CITY – tucked behind one of BYT’s favorite bars in town, the DODGE CITY back yard is never too packed, never too loud, never too anything-just perfect for catching up with your friends over a nice cold one (+ the same could be said for Velvet Lounge too)
- Hank’s – Is there a better way to spend your Sunday afternoon than sipping white wine and eating oysters and peel and eat shrimp at the Hank’s in Dupont? We don’t think so.
- Le Diplomate – check out our full first look and taste test story here. But, to quote: “Le Diplomate is precisely where you’ll be all spring and summer long, whether you’re seated in their pristinely decorated bistro or their picturesque patios”. Place is GORGEOUS and while it is currently being MOBBED by the hungry 14th street masses at all times and meals, show up early or make a reservation and live like you’re in a movie for a few hours.
- Cork – as we mentioned NUMEROUS times, the 14th street outdoor drinking scenario is spiraling slowly but surely out of control. So it is nice to be able to sit and watch the hustle and bustle of 14th street from the relative serenity viewpoint of Cork’s intimate patio. The avocado bruschetta and the mimosa flights at brunch definitely help, too.
- American Ice Co. – They’ve got the sweetest hidden patio in town and if you get there early enough, you can try out the lunch menu, drink for a while, then order dinner. They’ve got fantastic cocktails and make for the perfect pre/post-9:30 Club stop.
- Red Rocks – What’s not to love? Picnic tables on the patio, plentiful umbrellas, reasonable waits, they never forget the slice of orange, the spinach salad makes us want to actually eat salad and they serve some of the best pizza, calzones and bottomless brunch mimosas in the city.
- 1905 –Combined with an intimate bistro vibe, 1905 creates a one of a kind dining experience that works just perfectly on its patio. Step right up to the outdoor bar for an absinthe cocktail or a glass of wine from their wide-ranging wine menu. Bonus: their new executive chef, Joel Hatton, is pumping up Tuesday nights at the restaurant with an ongoing Mussels Night special (starting at 5:30pm). For just $15, you’ll get a heaping bowl of steaming mussels accompanied by a mound of house-cut fries and a can or bottle of beer of your choice from 1905‘s stellar list. #WINNING
- Rock and Roll Hotel –Home to not only some of the best shows and trivia in the District, Rock and Roll Hotel has one of our absolute favorite rooftop bars. Whether you’re grabbing a drink post-/pre-show or stopping by for a casual cocktail (or alcoholic slushie) for no particular occasion, it’s a great spot to sit and chat with friends; bonus points for porthole windows.
- DC9 –When we go out boozing with friends, conversation is often as important as a steady buzz. On a typical Saturday, most D.C. bars are too packed or too loud for such an opportunity. DC9′s roof deck, on the other hand, is an oasis of comfort. Anyone’s who has gone to a show there knows how friendly their bartenders are, and upstairs they’re even more relaxed and willing to chat. There’s plenty of space, the drinks are cheap, and the crowd is always chill. They even get the small details right – once you open a tab, the bartender returns your card promptly – we’re sure this will be a favorite spot as the summer continues.
- Perry’s – Adams Morgan gets a ton of flack for the overall bridge-and-tunnel vibe it has these days, but the Perry’s rooftop is a local constant and the patio equivalent of a friend you can always rely on: peaceful, spacious, classy, always there for you. Plus, those twinkly lights are VERY flattering. (photo courtesy of the restaurant)
- Hank’s Oyster Bar –We absolutely love fresh seafood over ice on a hot day and at Hank’s patio–which, kudos to them, accommodates up to 40 guests–you can get your fresh fix at weekend brunch, dinner , and lunch on Fridays.
THOSE ARE OUR PICKS. TELL US YOUR FAVORITES IN THE COMMENTS